A. Scherbenina "There'll be place for Ruby in the future"

Speaker at RailsClub 2016 and RailsClub 2017, teamlead at Artec3D
14 November 2017   554

Anna Scherbenina at RailsClub 2017
Anna Scherbenina at RailsClub 2017

Software developer. Teamlead at Arctec3D, speaker at RailsClub 2016 and 2017.

On the RailsClub 2017, we’ve managed to talk with Anna about her report, her job and future of programming.

Hi! How are you? Tell something about yourself.

Hello, my name is Ann and I'm a programmer.

What is your talk about?

In short, my talk is about the fact that software solutions presented by companies on the market should, in the first place, be stable. Despite the fact that the correct patterns for solving and avoiding serious problems have been known for a long time, many companies, instead of solving their problems, still simply let them go. For example, for the last six months there have been quite a lot of cases, when some companies did not have a backup, and I'm not talking about a well-known company, I'm talking about more local companies, as the Ruby community has a lot of information circulating inside. Therefore, I think we need to stop and think: "What I'm doing right now, this contribution I make, is it really good?" Surely, there are both interesting and not so interesting tasks out there. To my mind, almost every task is interesting, because the developer's responsibility area does not end at the moment when they wrote the code. It ends when this code works stably in production for years, when this code is supported and does not lead to side effects and potential errors.

How’s the conference going?

Quite comfortable. I'm glad that my talk is the last one, because I'm afraid that I will not fit the time limit. I want to say so much! As every speaker does, I believe.

What about the programming world in the future? How do you see it in 10 or 50 years? Will there be a place for Ruby?

To my mind, there will be a place for Ruby. It is a language that actively evolves and follows trends. Like all languages, Ruby learns from the experience of other languages. When a new technology appears, some patterns of behavior that turn out to be successful in one language, affect the other ones. You don’t need reinvent the wheel, when for some specific problems there are already existing good solutions. Same thing with Ruby: I think that concurrency in Ruby is the cornerstone of the next few years, and, I suppose, it will be implemented under the influence of the experience of already existing solutions. I'm not saying that we need to borrow them, but quite a lot of good solutions are already out there, so this experience will certainly not be left without attention.

In your opinion, what are the hypest things in the technology world right now?

As far as I remember, the Guilds were the latest theme that caused a lot of discussion.

Nowadays, the job of the coder is becoming more and more popular. There are plenty of coders out there. What is your advice to stand out from the crowd?

Probably, my answer is unpopular, but I would advise to work very hard. It is necessary to work hard on yourself, as well as work for the companies, as the first "living" experience practically does not come without setting tasks from the outside. You also need to gain knowledge, to read a lot, to go to conferences. On top of that, it is necessary to communicate with other developers and to be in the same information field with them. Try to read the blog posts, including ones from those people talking here today.

Do you need to read about the code or the code itself? What is more important: theory or practice?

I think the theory is more important. in the recruitment process, several years ago, there were a lot of candidates with good local practical knowledge, the guys were smart and talented. Still, there was no basic theory knowledge at all. I think it's too bad when the developer knows only what he has already done.

Talking about feedback, a lot of people do their job and get a great satisfaction from it, e.g. building a useful thing, such as an aircraft or a ship,  that serves people and they thank you. What do you get this feeling from?

Well, I work for a company that makes the best handheld 3D scanners in the world. To do something that is the best in the world, you need to make efforts, you need to implement something new, to be unique. I am glad that I am a part of this process. In this company, my career has developed. Moreover, I like working with external deadlines. When the deadline is caused by some external factors, you need to concentrate and focus. Most of all I’m fascinated by the amount of work that is done in such a short period of time.

It is believed, that a person of each profession has its own professional nightmares connected to their job. Do you have yours?

Oh, sure I’m in my bed, sleeping from Saturday to Sunday, and they call me and say that there is a problem with one of our projects. If only it was a dream! [laughing]

Thank you for joining us, it’s been a pleasure to talk to you!

Thanks for having me!


N. Sutterer: "Ruby is dead. Long live Ruby!"

Creator of Trailblazer that introduces several new abstraction layers into Rails, Rails contributor and gem author, speaker at Railsclub
15 January 2018   457

Nick Sutterer at RailsClub 2017
Nick Sutterer at RailsClub 2017

Hello! Please, introduce yourself in few words.

My name is Nick Sutterer, I’m developing software for like 22-25 years and I work like a consultant of my open source project for different companies. Sometimes I give presentations at conferences.

Is it your first time in Russia, Moscow, RailsClub?

It is. Everything for a first time. I’m blown away!

How do you like it?

Great! It’s amazing! Since I arrived, people care about me, people take me out, people show me the city, people give me history lessons. It’s amazing. Great food. We go to places and have a drink. I go to hotel, sleep, and everything starts again. That’s amazing! I’m really enjoying it.

Can you tell us about your report in few keynotes?

My talk was about the lack of innovation in Ruby language and about innovations that is happening in frameworks, that use Ruby. I’m just showing what we have. I try to inspire people and Ruby core team to pick some ideas from other technologies and make Ruby even better.

Your talk is called “Ruby is dead”. If Ruby is dead, what’s alive?

Ruby is dead. Long live Ruby. I’m trying to be provocative with my talk. I’m still coding Ruby everyday, I’m still traveling to all conference because I still believe that Ruby is an amazing programming language. There’s languages, showing up recently. Elixir or Golang for example. They have completely different way. They deal with problems and they are way more innovative. But they are brand new. I, actually, don’t think that Ruby is dead.

What you don’t like in Ruby the most?

I hate that we keep thinking in really old way. We reject innovation. It is especially due to frameworks like Rails. I would love to the more development of Rails, with all it’s huge audience. Ruby is lacking a lot of features that a lot of other languages have, like pattern matching and method overloading. The problem is that sometimes I feel that we are behind the innovations that happen to other languages. Specifically features, that make other languages amazing. We don’t have them, and it’s very sad.

What is your way to improve Ruby?

Every time is meet Matz at conference, I tell him for few hours what should be done to improve Ruby. Without any providing any help. It’s all about innovations. I try to innovate in my own framework, Trailblazer. So we can put the way we write business code to new level. I try to inspire people with my library code they use new concepts in Ruby that never been there before. I think that helping them to write the applications.

How do you see the world of programming in 10 and 50 years? And will Ruby and Rails have place in this future?

I don’t think Rails will have place. I really love Rails community and people in Rails Core. But I don’t think that Rails will be a thing in 10 years. But I think Ruby will still be around. It all depends on what is going to happen with Ruby 3.0. When it will be released and what features will it bring. I think Ruby will still be there. But I can’t tell you what will happen in 50 years. Because in 50 years there won’t be a need to program anymore. We will probably just write diagrams on the air.

In your opinion, what technologies are the most hypest today?

Craft beer and coffee, haha! Everything that hipsters do! Now everything is switching from OOP to FP. We are trying to avoid to have unwanted side effects in order to not let users to screw up internal state. Functional programming makes it impossible to users to do stuff in wrong order, for example. Like problems that we have in Ruby. I see a lot of development in functional languages because they are also way easy to paralyze and they have a lot of advanced features.

What advice can you give to average programmer to stand out the crowd?

Important thing in IT is that you always need to play with new tools. Even if you are not a super programmer, you have to look at the community and check what’s going on. It is really important to keep moving. Otherwise, I see that my current job at the police is really slow. They using very outdated technologies. A lot of people are affected. It is non productive. It’s good because a lot of people are keeping their jobs . But it is important to adopt new technologies. I’m not saying be a coding hipster and change your framework everyday. But a lot of new things in last 10 years make sense. People should use it and not just sit there and enjoy excellent job. They can get fired tomorrow.

What makes you excited about your job?

That’s beautiful question. I think that idea of open source is that you expose code that you think is helpful and people will tell you that it really is. This is what keeps me programming. When I write something and I see that a lot of people use it and they say like “It is so much better that I used before!” It’s great! This is making my day. It’s all about what comes back. I also program my own stuff and sometimes I think: “Yes!” But mostly I like when something what I do is helpful to other people.

Do you have any plans on writing a book?

I have already wrote one book. Two years ago, it took like 16 months. I was writing and inventing at the same time. That was a huge mistake! I was keeping updating my book with changes in my library code. It was massive. I plan to write more books, because it was fun. It has to be with the right timing. I’m not gonna write a book about, for example, a new version of my framework now because it’s still changing. I’m not gonna make this mistake again. It’s so much work! Unbelievable.

Do you have any nightmares, related to you job?

I used to have those kind of dreams few years ago. Sometimes I still have them.You always imagine software as something visual. Brain just does that. My dreams about those thing and passing the objects. And it’s always the wrong object! It’s the only nightmare that I have. I was able to have good work\life balance. So I have very rare the bad sleep. Even if I don’t look like it.